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7 Ways to Get the Best Haircut of Your Life

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 31/03/2016 Teen Vogue

by Sarah Wu, Teen Vogue 2016-03-30-1459375862-4100404-FP20153210.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-30-1459375862-4100404-FP20153210.jpg Courtesy of CNP Montrose
With the wide world of Instagram hair feeds at our fingertips, it's easier than ever to get inspired. We're no strangers to the sudden urge to debut a fresh, new cut, particularly now that the weather's warming up.
As with any, major change, thinking through the details will get you better results than diving right in. Yes -- hair does grow out, but we prefer to aim for the satisfaction of a perfect cut on the first try. The secret to a good cut? Good communication. We asked the experts behind the shears what this might entail.
"Do you blow-dry and style your hair, or are you more low maintenance?" asks Amanda Ambroise, stylist at Ted Gibson Salon. "Do you work out? If so, how important is it that your hair fits in a ponytail? What are some things you like or don't like about your current cut? This information is important for your stylist to understand your preferences."
And while it's easy to get swept up in the moment, you'll also want to think about the future. "Whether you plan on maintaining that style or growing it out will dictate how the hair is cut," notes Rodney Cutler, Redken ambassador and co-owner of Licari Cutler Salon.
As we quickly realized, there are approximately a million more questions to ask. So we compiled the best of Amanda and Rodney's advice into seven, key categories.

Know that sinking feeling you get when your stylist takes off way more length than you were expecting? A good way to avoid this situation is to use both visual and verbal communication. "Physically point to where you want the end result to be," advises Rodney. "Inches can be different for everyone, so having that visual representation is important."


Here's a quick test to make sure that you and your stylist are on the same page: have you talked about your specific hair type and texture? If not, do it now. Every cut should have an individualized approach, and it's so important that you discuss this with your stylist. Amanda notes that these conversations can be especially useful for clients with natural hair. "Explain why you want the cut," she says. "Is the hair damaged? Do you want to transition out of relaxing?" These answers will allow your stylist to consider changes in your haircare and styling routines -- plus, they'll help ensure the best results possible.

Related: Rainbow Roots Is the Coolest Hair Trend We've Ever Seen

Whether your stylist cuts hair dry or damp, the initial consultation should always be done with dry hair. "I always recommend booking an initial consultation," says Rodney. "It should start with dry hair, so the stylist can get a good idea of what your hair is like naturally. This way, they can decide how to best execute the cut you're asking for." As for what to discuss during your consultation: "It's important to share what makes you feel confident and comfortable."

Be realistic about how much time you're willing to commit on the daily. "If you're a wash-and-go girl, there are styles that may suit you better than others," says Rodney. "If you're a master of the blow-out, you can rock a whole range of other hairdos." As tempting as it might be, now is not the time to try any last-minute changes. As Rodney puts it: "Don't walk in with a blow-out you didn't do, as the stylist will want to see your capabilities firsthand. I also really recommend talking about the products you currently use, and if you're willing to purchase new ones, or learn new styling techniques."

When you're walking in for a major chop, you want that major chop. But as Amanda pointed out to us, sometimes the results will be better if you take the time to space out your appointments. "A big chop may not always be best," she explains. "Your stylist may recommend small, frequent trims, until your natural hair reaches a manageable length for you. Try your best to be patient. It may take up to a year to reach your goal." Whatever your hair type, spacing out your cuts can also be a good call if you want to work your way up to a big change. "Be honest and clear with your stylist about what you expect, and together, you can achieve the best results," she says.

You might be the most evocative speaker out there, but it never hurts to bring in visual aids. "Inspirational photos are great," says Amanda. "They give a much better idea of what you envision." Be prepared for further discussion -- as Amanda points out, the same style looks different on everyone. Oh, and if you're considering bangs? Definitely bring pictures. "Also, descriptive language like blunt, chunky, feathered, or arched is the best way to get across exactly what you want," adds Rodney.

To avoid any potential hair regrets, aim for communication that goes further than surface-level description. Both Amanda and Rodney like to discuss reasons for a cut with their clients, particularly in the case of a major change. "I like to discuss life changes," says Amanda. Rodney rightly points out that a style change can have a major impact on mood. "If you're feeling really empowered to make a change, you may react differently than if you're really upset and making the chop for that reason," he explains. So whatever your motivations are, don't hesitate to talk them out! As Rodney says: "Your stylist will want to give you the most comfortable experience, and ultimately, a cut you love."
More from Teen Vogue:
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